All Articles Tagged "White House"
The wage gap issue is here to once again rear its ugly head at the White House. Back in April, the administration came under fire for all of its talk about closing the wage gap when a gap existed right in its own ranks.
Last week, the issue was back, with the Washington Post reported that male White House staffers were paid 13 percent more than their female counterparts. On average, men took home $88,600 while women pocketed $78,400. The gap is partially attributed to the fact that more men are seated at the upper echelon of the White House strata.
Josh Earnest, the new White House press secretary, says that, upon closer inspection, you’ll see that women hold a number of senior positions and their pay is commensurate with their rank. Also, the White House pointed out that six women were promoted in the past year.
The newspaper points out that when you look at women at every salary level however, it shows that there’s a discrepancy.
“A key sentence from Goldfarb’s analysis is this: Currently, there are 87 male White House officials who make more than $100,000, compared to 53 female White House officials. The gap narrows, but persists, at the highest echelons of the White House. Among the most senior officials, there are two more men than women,” WaPo says.
Target Point, a conservative think tank, went even further with its criticism, saying that promoted women received — on average — an 18.5 percent salary increase. Promoted men, on the other hand, were given a 24.4 percent raise, Business Insider reports. Women are more likely to get smaller raises. Also, between 2013 and 2014, 46 men advanced to a better-paying position while 41 women were given the same opportunity (which, if you ask me, isn’t a significant difference).
But Alex Lundry, SVP and chief data scientist at Target Point calls “[t]he White House’s hypocrisy on this issue… stunning.”
Press Secretary Earnest expressed his views on the matter: “I wouldn’t hold up the White House as the perfect example here. We still have more work to do at the White House.”
In defense of Obama, though, Earnest added that the White House pay gap is slightly narrower than the national average: “The White House performs significantly better than the private sector.”
On average, women make only 77 cents for every man’s dollar, according to The New York Times. At the White House, that figure is increased to 88 cents for every man’s dollar.
We reported a few weeks ago that First Daughter Malia Obama was interning on the set of Halle Berry’s new movie Extant and since she’s been spending so much time in L.A., it’s not all too surprising the the paparazzi is on the prowl.
Monday night Malia and a few of her friends were spotted at Gjelina, famous restaurant in Venice, California. It’s often frequented by celebrities so the paparazzi were on site, snapping pictures of the 16 year old. A photographer captured a picture of Malia as she walked out of the restaurant and he sold the image to AKM-GSI for them to distribute to other sites. The agency posted the picture on their website for other media outlets to purchase. But within a few hours the First Lady’s office called AKM-GSI and asked them to please remove the photo.
According to TMZ, Mrs. Obama’s staff told the agency that they’d secured promises from several media outlets not to photograph either Sasha or Malia when they weren’t with their father, President Obama.
AKM-GSI agreed and then sent an e-mail to other media outlets issuing a “URGENT SET KILL NOTICE.”
It read: “Please delete the set of Malia Obama from your archive. The set was sent around earlier today. We cannot distribute this set.”
When TMZ posted the story, they asked if this was a case of Mrs. Obama and the White House abusing their power when Malia made a decision to one intern in L.A. and then go to a very popular restaurant. There’s a poll and a majority of the people believe it’s an abuse. But if you ask me, this is just what parents do. Parents are supposed to do everything in their power to protect their children. And as it stands now, the more power you have the better you’re able to protect your children. That’s the way of the world. Plus, if the Obamas were really to abuse their power, I can imagine a few things far worse than asking a photo agency to delete a photo of their teenage daughter.
What do you think, were the Obamas wrong to flex this much muscle or is this just yet another example of people being mad at everything the first family does, whether it’s right or wrong?
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, or #nerdprom, is an annual event that gets lots of attention for the celebrity and political star power it brings together in Washington DC… and a lot of criticism for those same reasons. This year, the dinner served a greater purpose than acting as a catwalk for our favorite designers. The White House Correspondents Association honored a historic black journalist: the late Harry McAlpin was served with a posthumous membership and scholarship that bears his name. The recipient of the newfound scholarship was Glynn Hill, a student of Howard University.
According to the Associated Press, Harry McAlpin was the first black reporter to attend a presidential news conference. Despite not receiving membership from the White House Correspondents’ Association, McAlpin became a steady reporter at the White House during the administrations of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Truman.
“The breaking of that barrier did not mean that everything was now fine inside the White House for blacks. Roosevelt press secretary Stephen Early refused to introduce McAlpin to the president, as was customary at that time, leading McAlpin to walk up to Roosevelt alone, said Earnest L. Perry Jr., who wrote about the attempt to credential a black White House correspondent for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Although he tried using his White House press pass, McAlpin was never credentialed to cover Congress. Louis Lautier ended up being the first accredited African-American congressional reporter.”
After making his career as a journalist, McAlpin decided to practice law in Louisville, Kentucky. He became an NAACP regional president, shortly after. McAlpin died in 1985. He is survived by his son and grandchildren.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s new year will start off with a bang as she celebrates a milestone.
January 17th marks the 50th birthday of Mrs. Obama and according to the Chicago Tribune, the white house plans to have a dance party.
The gala, to be held on Saturday January 18th, will be called “Snacks & Sips & Dancing & Dessert”.
Save the date emails are being sent out, and guests are being instructed to wear comfortable shoes, eat before they come and practice their dance moves.
You can read the rest on ESSENCE.com. Can you even imagine being invited to the Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday bash? We’re excited at just the thought of it!
Well, it took almost the entire year, but we were finally able to see President and Mrs. Obama in their first joint interview of 2013.
First of all, can we just discuss how without even speaking, you can see the love they have for one another? It’s clearly one that you don’t ever have to question, it’s right in your face. That’s one of the things people love about President and Mrs. Obama. Barbara Walters, who conducted the interview during a segment on ABC’s 20/20 on Friday, acknowledged it and also asked if it ever gets a little more intense than these happy moments:
Both: Yeah. Absolutely. We’re married.
Mrs. Obama: We’ve been married for — I mean, we’re married. Do you go through the list of things that irritate us about each other?
President Obama: That’s the nature of marriage. You have to respect each other. You have to like each other. You have to be honest with each other. But it’s not always going to be smooth sailing. And there’s some work involved. And there should be work. And — there are gonna be tensions.
They also talked about their daughters, Malia and Sasha, and how they continue to try and make sure they have normal lives even though they’re in such a public view. If you can believe it, Malia, 15, is old enough to date! Walters asked if Malia actually dates but the Obamas quickly shut that question down:
Mrs. Obama: Oh we’re not gonna — we’re not gonna talk about that.
Pres. Obama: We’re not gonna put her business out there.
Mrs. Obama: She does what every — every normal teenager does. You know, we think about not just her life here, but her life after. Because she’s gotta be an independent, strong, smart, capable woman in the world. So, she has to get her training now.
Mrs. Obama added that in terms of social media, the girls are very limited in their usage. Because she’s older, Malia is allowed to use it some but Sasha, only 13, is not allowed to be on social media.
In terms of business, both President and Mrs. Obama say that his low approval ratings are part of the job and people won’t like everything he does. Now, Barbara took it further asking if he thought Mrs. Obama would have made a better President and based on Mrs. Obama’s semi-laugh and facial expressions, Barbara really tried it with that question. President Obama took the political route by saying she would have, but Mrs. Obama quickly refused that one:
Mrs. Obama: I absolutely don’t agree. You know, he has a level of patience and — and focus — and tenacity and calm, you know, that just doesn’t come by anyone. I definitely don’t have that patience.
Finally, one of the big questions is what will they do once his second term is over. Will Pres. Obama continue in politics?
Mrs. Obama: That’s a no.
Pres. Obama: I think it’s fair to say that I’ve run my last campaign. I won’t be in another elected office. Will I continue to care deeply about issues we are working on? Absolutely.
They both agree that where they will live will be decided, in large part, by what Sasha wants to do. Malia will be in college, but Sasha will only be a sophomore in high school so they want to make sure she’s good.
You can check out more of the interview here.
I think the fall is going to be a promising time for black film. We’re already anticipating the sequel to “The Best Man” in November and from the looks of this first trailer for Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” October will bring good things are way as well.
We’ve heard a lot about this new cinematic feat — most recently because of Terrence Howard’s comments about Oprah’s tig ‘ol bitties — thankfully, this film is so much for than that. “The Butler” is the story of Eugene Allen, the African American White House butler who served several presidents over his 34-year post before retiring as head butler in 1986. Forest Whitaker plays the rple of Allen, but he is far from the only big name in this feature film. Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, David Oyelowo, Colman Domingo, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Melissa Leo, Liev Schreiber, Jesse Williams, Aml Ameen, Lenny Kravitz, and Cuba Gooding Jr all have parts in this gripping story that, as you can see from the trailer, is about much more than Allen, capturing race relations between blacks and whites from the ’50s through the ’80s and how that shaped Allen’s own family dynamic.
I’m personally pretty excited about this one, and I think it will be much better received than “The Help,” although criticism has already reared it’s ugly head due to the subject of servitude. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think? Will you head to the theater to see this October 18?
WORK! Michelle Obama Covers Vogue And President Obama Speaks On How Loving Her Made Him A Better Man
Michelle…you better work!
The First Lady of the United States is looking regal and fabulous on the April issue of Vogue, her second cover to commemorate another four years of the fierce fashionista that is Michelle Obama. On the cover of the mag, you can see her in a gorgeous Reed Krakoff dress and diamond-drop earrings, sitting on a table with her bangin’ bangs and bright smile. As for inside the issue, Michelle and President Obama open up about their family, their relationship and their critics. The latter including people who like to claim that the First Family is more antisocial than those of past, not extending invitations to kick it at the White House to those with opposing ideas in office in Washington, but Michelle makes it clear that while they don’t mind rubbing elbows with who they need to, that’s definitely one of their main priorities:
“Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole. You know, we have small kids; they’re growing every day. But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, ‘Our number-one priority is making sure that our family is whole.’
“The stresses and the pressures of this job are so real that when you get a minute, you want to give that extra energy to your fourteen- and eleven-year-old. . . .”
Michelle also talks about the man her husband is, and why he’s so damn cool–aka, relatable for many people:
“I’ve tried to explain this guy to people over the years, but there is a calmness to him that is just . . . it has been a consistent part of his character. Which is why I think he is uniquely suited for this challenge—because there is a steadiness. And maybe it’s because of his Hawaiian upbringing—you go to Hawaii and it’s Chillsville; maybe it was because his life growing up was a little less steady, so he had to create that steadiness for himself . . . but he is that person, in all situations, over the course of these last four years, from watching the highs and lows of health-care reform to dealing with two very contentious, challenging elections. . . . The most you get from him is ‘You know, that is gonna be tough. . . .’ There are a lot of times I can’t tell how his day went. Unless I really dig down. Because when he walks through that door, he can let go of it all. And it just doesn’t penetrate his soul. And that’s the beautiful thing for me to see as his wife. That was one of the things I was worried about: How would politics affect this very decent, genuine, noble individual? And there is just something about his spirit that allows all that stuff to stay on the outside.”
I also love the back and forth between these two, as they talk in the interview about the early struggles in their marriage of getting adjusted to each other’s personalities, but how years together have made them better people. And funny people too:
POTUS: “There’s no doubt I’m a better man having spent time with Michelle. I would never say that Michelle’s a better woman, but I will say she’s a little more patient.”
FLOTUS: “I would say I’m a better woman. You couldn’t say it.”
POTUS: “I couldn’t say it,” he says.
FLOTUS: The First Lady looks at me: “It’s good that he learned not to say that.” And then turns and looks at him and smiles. “Don’t say that.”
*Sigh* I just think they’re amazing. And the article about the couple in April’s Vogue is pretty amazing too, as it gives a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the White House and how they as a couple keep their heads with the spotlight constantly on their every move. They already came off as very human and relatable, but the article make you appreciate their down-to-earth personalities even more. Pick up the new issue when it hits newsstands on March 26.
Photos courtesy of Vogue by Annie Leibovitz
It’s A Photoshoot! Michelle Obama And Her Bangs Are Shown Off In Official Second Term White House Photo
Just as President Obama had the chance to change things up for his second term photograph for the White House, so has his first lady, Michelle Obama. In her second term official photo, Obama is all smiles once again, hair looking luxurious, especially those layers and the wispy bangs we love so much. She shows off her pearls and her pearly whites at the same time while rocking a dark 3/4 length sleeve dress. This beautiful photo was taken by official White House photographer Chuck Kennedy and was done on February 12.
Whether or not these bangs were part of her “midlife crisis” as she so jokingly said, they’re bangin’ baby! So what do you think about the new official photo? And do you like it more or less than her first official photograph?
The honors keep rolling in for little Quvenzhane Wallis. Tomorrow, the 9-year old, Oscar nominated actress will attend an interactive Black History Month workshop at the White House. Among the attendees are the first lady, Michelle Obama, the cast and crew of Beasts of the Southern Wild and 80 middle and high school students from Louisiana and Washington D.C.
Members of the Beasts of the Southern Wild family will discuss their experiences making the film and how the inspirational messages in the movie can be applied to their everyday lives.
We can dig it!
In addition to visiting the White House Wallis will also attend Essence’s Women In Hollywood luncheon before the Oscars are awarded on February 24.
Another White House Exit: Obama’s Head of The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Departs
Yet another person is leaving President Obama’s administration. Obama’s official liaison to faith-based organizations, Joshua DuBois, 30, has decided to call it quits in order to write a book.
While Obama said he urged DuBois to stay on, many D.C. insiders say that the agreement was mutual.
DuBois headed an office that was expanded significantly from the George W. Bush years, reports The Washington Post. But despite the growth of the office, many criticized DuBois for a lack of experience and a lack of follow through.
DuBois was just 26 when appointed by Obama to run the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The Office works with 12 federal agencies. The staff increased from about 30 to 45 during DuBois’ tenure, and Obama formed a faith-based advisory council of leaders from faith-based social service organizations. “It led college campus programs on interfaith issues and worked to help faith-based programs helping fathers. It also created a program to train State Department workers abroad on religion and foreign policy,” reports the Post.
Obama changed the course of the office, which was started by President George W. Bush. Under Bush, the office “proved contentious because many critics said the office and its actions often violated the constitutional separation of church and state,” says The New York Times. Obama, however, appointed advisory councils that represented a broad range of religious leaders, including conservative evangelicals and openly gay ministers.
DuBois, a Pentecostal minister, engaged religious leaders to address broad social goals such as reducing unwanted pregnancies, helping people cope with the economic downturn, encouraging fathers to take responsibility for their children, and improving child and maternal health.
DuBois also served as an unofficial in-house pastor to the president, sending Obama an e-mail each morning with Bible passages intended to prompt reflection or prayer. DuBois will author a book of devotionals for leaders based on the ones he sent the President each day. DuBois will also be teaching at New York University. He also aims to create an organization to help government, nonprofit, and private institutions develop partnerships with religious groups to solve social problems.